IEC Demands Guaranteed Security for Its Employees Ahead of Elections
Kabul – Noor Muhammad Noor, the spokesman of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), on Monday warned the Afghan government saying that if it failed to ensure security of the Commission’s employees, then the IEC would be unable to hold the elections in an efficient and transparent manner. The warning from Mr. Noor came in after five employees of the IEC, including two women were kidnapped by a group of unidentified gunmen on Thursday from Almar district in Faryab province.
In light of the issue, Mr. Noor assured the employees saying that the IEC has already discussed the matter with the security organisations and is putting in all efforts to ensure their safety. “We want safety of the IEC employees, elections materials, voters, voters’ registration centers’ employees, and all the journalists who cover the elections,” said Mr. Noor.
After the killing of Amanullah Aman, the chief of the IEC in Kunduz province, kidnapping of the IEC officials marks the second incident aimed at preventing the next spring’s elections. The Commission once again cited insecurity as a major challenge in opening voters’ registration centers in several provinces and holding elections in a transparent manner.
On Wednesday, Amanullah Aman was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen in Kunduz city. The Taliban had claimed responsibility for the attack. Security surrounding the upcoming Presidential and Provincial elections has been a major concern of government officials and the public. Most of security related issues have had to do with voter registration offices not being able to open in certain areas, and residents being too afraid to participate.
Meanwhile, eight days have passed since the commencement of the nomination filing process, but so far, only Bismillah Sher, the head of the Wefaq Millie Party (WMP), has filed nomination for Presidency. The Commission said that 383 people, including 42 women have filed nominations for the Provincial Councils’ election and over 57 people, including two women have received information packets for the Presidential elections.
“57 people, including two women have received information packets for the Presidential elections from the IEC. Only one candidate has submitted his nomination paper for Presidency. 383 people, including 42 women have filed nomination for the Provincial Councils’ elections,” Mr. Noor added. The IEC said that after scrutinizing Mr. Sher’s and other candidates’ documents, it will announce the final list of the Presidential candidates on October 16th. (Tolonews)